It’s Eurovision time again, hosted by the city of Liverpool rather than last year’s winner, Ukraine, for obvious reasons (one sincerely hopes that pop-loving Russians will blow an appropriately loud raspberry at Mr Putin for getting their country kicked out last year). From what I have heard so far, this year promises to be the usual festival of tacky, over-the-top, joyous gender-non-specific fun that most Britons watch in the secret hope of hearing the words: ‘nul points’ from the judges.

But you never know. Glenn Fosbraey of the University of Winchester believes he has cracked the code of what makes a winning Eurovision entry and Mae Muller’s I Wrote a Song presses more of those buttons, hitting – as he says – “an eight or a nine on the cliche-ometer”.

Once upon a time most of the people I knew wouldn’t watch Eurovision if they were paid to – we all saw it as incredibly naff. How things have changed: naff is the new cool at least for some people, as this expert in “cool theory” explains. Plus the visibility the show has given to LGBTQ+ culture is just another of the many reasons to indulge in this guilt-free cheese fest.

Israel, which is also represented in Eurovision tonight, has its own big celebration tomorrow when it marks the 75th anniversary of the declaration of its statehood in 1948. We’ve commissioned a series of stories about this significant anniversary including this fascinating piece about how the Jewish resistance movement ran rings around Britain in the lead-up to independence. But Palestinians aren’t celebrating: Monday marks 75 years since “al Nakba” – the catastrophe – which saw millions of innocent people driven off their land, and continues to dominate the Palestinian experience today.

This week, after King Charles’s coronation, we also asked whether British tourism really needs the royal family, we read about a new vaccine for the deadly virus RSV, and – as Donald Trump was found guilty of sexual assault in a New York court, we looked at myths about how women are supposed to react to rape.

Jonathan Este

Associate Editor, International Affairs Editor

The Eurovision Song Contest stage. Review News/Shutterstock

How to win Eurovision: the secret code of the contest’s winning lyrics

Glenn Fosbraey, University of Winchester

The UK has now chalked up a record 16 second place finishes. But what would it take to go one better and win the whole thing?

Eurovision fans party in Liverpool ahead of the final. ANP/Alamy Stock Photo

Is Eurovision finally cool? That depends on your definition – ‘cool theory’ expert explains

Vanessa Brown, Nottingham Trent University

Thanks to the popularity of shows such as RuPaul’s Drag Race, camp is now mainstream. This is perhaps one reason Eurovision has suddenly become perceived as cool.

David Ben-Gurion formally declares Israel as an independent state on May 14 1948. Rudi Weissenstein - Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Israel at 75: how inept British intelligence failed to contain Jewish independence groups

Steven Wagner, Brunel University London

A series of poor decisions in the face of Jewish manoeuvring led to the end of the British mandate in Palestine and the creation of the Israeli state.

JC Cuellar/Shutterstock

Does British tourism really need the royal family?

Ross Bennett-Cook, University of Westminster

Royal palaces are far from the UK’s most popular tourist spots.

Micrograph of RSV virions. BSIP SA/Alamy Stock Photo

RSV: we finally have a vaccine for this deadly virus

Sarah Pitt, University of Brighton

The first vaccine against respiratory syncytial virus is 83% effective.

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